FINDING TALENTS LIKE TOM IS A GAIN IN ITSELF
The Cricket Paper|October 04, 2020
One of the unexpected highlights to emerge from English cricket’s Covid-attenuated season was the chance given to young players to strut their stuff. With many overseas players and Kolpaks affected by travel restrictions many counties looked instead to the young talent on their staffs with gratifying results.

Some of the youngsters, like Somerset’s Tom Lammonby, looked potential England players, the 20-year old left-hander instrumental in Somerset’s passage to the final of the Bob Willis Trophy. There against Essex he made his third hundred in six matches, an exceptional effort for an opening batsman in a summer short on placid pitches.

That he finished on the losing side in that final, by dint of Essex drawing the match with a higher first innings score than Somerset, was due to another left-hander, Sir Alastair Cook, one of cricket’s great batsmen. Batting when conditions were at their easiest, Cook made 172 with a greater fluency than we normally associate with him. High praise then that Lammonby’s 116 in the second innings was almost its equal.

Born in Exeter and educated at Exeter School, Lammonby has an Australian father who came to play club cricket in England during the late 1990s and stayed, eventually marrying here and settling in the south west. The young Lammonby played Devon agegroup cricket before graduating to the full Devon side whereupon Somerset’s scouts pounced and he was put through the county’s Academy. It is a well trodden route with six of the county’s current playing staff having taken it.

In his first season at Somerset and batting in the late middle-order, Lammonby played a dozen T20 Blast matches as an all-rounder without distinction. Indeed, he can bowl brisk left-arm seamers, a handy skill to go with his fine, athletic fielding.

Asking him to open the batting was a leap of faith given he’d only ever done it in local club cricket. But needs must and with Somerset’s two overseas openers from 2019, Azhar Ali and Murali Vijay, both indisposed and with Marcus Trescothick retired, expediency ruled and Lammonby was thrust unto the breach. Full credit, then, to him for seizing his opportunity.

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